(Read Matthew 15:1-20)
This morning we continue our series, “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing our mini-series entitled, “Grace Based Success (Prosperity)”. We have been studying the life of the Apostle Peter. We spent over a month on Matthew 14. This morning we cross over into chapter 15.
Some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus. They asked, “Why do your followers not obey the traditions we have from our great leaders who lived long ago? Your followers don’t wash their hands before they eat!” The religious leadership were laser-focused on laws and washing their hands before they ate was a big deal to them. Jesus took the opportunity to lecture them about what is really important. He scolded them for not honoring their parents and God clearly commanded. Jesus went on to say, “You think it is more important to follow those traditions you have. You are hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he spoke for God about you: ‘These people honor me with their words, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is worthless. The things they teach are only human rules.’”
Jesus then said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. It is not what people put in their mouth that makes them wrong. It is what comes out of their mouth that makes them wrong.” Jesus then told the disciples to stay away from the Pharisees and teachers of the law, because they were like “blind leading the blind – causing all of them to fall in a ditch”.
Later, Peter came to Jesus and said, “Please explain to us what you said earlier to the people.” Tomorrow I will focus on the explanation, but for today I will focus on Peter and how he was the only disciple to even ask for further clarification.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- Peter made lots of mistakes, but he made those mistakes trying. He tried harder than the other disciples, because he had a heart for learning and growing. You must develop a heart for learning and growing in God. If you do, your desire for growth may not keep you from mistakes, but it will keep you from mediocrity. Peter would rather fall while walking on water than stay in the boat. That’s the kind of attitude Peter had and it is the kind of attitude we should have.
- Peter later wrote to new believers and he said, “Like newborn babies hungry for milk, you should want the pure teaching of the Word; teaching that feeds your spirit. With it you can grow up and mature in God.” (1 Peter 2:2). This is the type of hunger Peter had. Like a baby yearning and crying for milk, Peter hungered after the things of God. This is the type of desire we should have towards God and His Word.
- Peter came to Jesus and asked for an explanation of the things he did not understand. Although you are not walking with Jesus like Peter did, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you (if you are Born-Again). This means the author of the book is with you every second of every day. Open up the Bible and ask the author to explain it to you. Ask Him what He meant when He said, ‘this or that’. Like any good author, the Holy Spirit is happy to talk about His book.
- I have been teaching on grace-based success and I keep putting the emphasis on God, but don’t confuse grace to be a license for laziness. As a believer you must never stop learning, never stop growing, and never stop studying. Peter wanted to grow, so he did, by grace of God. You can do the same. Read the Word daily, pray without ceasing, continually repent of all wrongdoing, abstain from even the appearance of evil, and pursue God all the days of your life. This is how you get to experience grace-based success.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your grace and my requirement to live by faith. Like Peter, I have an earnest desire to grow and develop in You. Like a baby craving for milk, I crave Your Word. I open the Bible daily. I meditate Your Word day and night. I hunger for Your Word more than my necessary food. Your Word is light and life to me. I hunger and thirst for righteousness and I shall be filled. The more I walk with You, the more I grow IN you, and the more I die to self, the more I want more. My heart is open daily Father to hear from You. Speak to me. Lead me. Guide me. Direct me. Instruct me. Feed me. I am open and I am obedient. I sit down with the Bible and the author and we go over the pages. This is how I grow. This is how I learn. This is how I develop. This is how I get to experience grace based success in the earth. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.